Hitler's Terror Weapons: The Price of Vengeance

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9780007112630: Hitler's Terror Weapons: The Price of Vengeance

Did Hitler’s use of unproven exotic weapons cost him the war? Were they worth the price? What effect did the V weapons have on Allied plans, morale and supplies? Roy Irons also investigates Hitler’s thirst for revenge following 1918 and his dread when Russian victories and Allied bombing began to shadow the Third Reich.

Roy Irons' fascinating book investigates whether Hitler's campaign would have been a greater success if he had put fewer resources into experimental weapons of revenge such as the V-2 rocket and the V-1 Doodle-bug. Enormous resources were poured into these experimental projects, often inspired by Hitler's thirst for revenge after the collapse of Germany in 1918 and his dread of a recurrence when Russian victories and allied bombing began to cast grim and ever-growing shadows over the Third Reich. He considers such questions as what effect the bombardment really had on London's morale and on Allied supplies through the port of Antwerp? Were these weapons really worth the price? With a foreword by Professor Richard Overy and fascinating images from the Imperial War Museum and Public Record Office, this is a unique account of this key element of the Second World War.

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Review:

This fascinating investigation into Hitler's arms policies investigates the factors which influenced his ideas, and their impact on the world and the outcome of WWII.

From the Author:

In June 1944, a few days after the allied invasion of Normandy, Germany launched the first of her 'vengeance' weapons, the V1 flying bomb, against London. This was followed in September 1944 by the V2 rocket. When the allies took the great Belgian port of Antwerp, essential to secure supplies for a rapid advance into Germany, this port, as well as Liege and other Belgian and French cities, was bombarded by V weapons as well as conventional bombers. A vast array of technical,industrial and raw material resources were channelled by Germany into intricate weapons whose cost was maximised, and whose effectiveness minimised, by their inaccuracy. Why was this so, when the nation's main problem was in the east, where the seemingly unstoppable and avenging armies of the Soviet Union sliced bloodily ever closer - seconded by a rain of fire and destruction by allied bombers, which ruined all attempts to rationalize and develop German industrial might, demanded huge rescources for defence, and terrified, blasted and incinerated its citizens?

The answer lay chiefly in the mind of Hitler. Appalled and infuriated by his experiences in the First World War, where German morale had suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed, the dictator saw will and morale as factors of paramount importance in all things. When approached by contending army and air force rocket scientists and engineers he was first sceptical about the value of their respective wares; but as huge losses in the east, invasion in the west and glaring defeat in the skies over Germany seemed once again to threaten morale, and 1943 began to bear chilling resemblances to 1918, he threw his weight behind the weapons of vengeance,perhaps more in the hope of impressing and inspiriting Germany than demoralising London or destroying Antwerp docks.

The book surveys the development, use and success of the weapons; and explores Hitler's military views and Germany's real options against the background of the great events of the Second World War as they unfolded.

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